Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Gemini Update

I have downloaded Gemini, and I am playing with it. While it is free, there is a fee if you deploy to a web server, which I would definately do. The fee is so small that I think I could round up support internally. I have not had much of a chance to play with Gemini, as I have had to deploy a couple of different project this week, but there is one thing about Gemini that I absolutely love. When you install Gemini, you are walked through the virtual directory and SQL Server install. I love that the data driving my issue tracking system is available in SQL Server, in an open way, for me to browse and play around with. I love that I could easily create my own SQL Server Reporting Services customs reports for my issues without worrying about installing some crazy driver to get at my data.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Issue Tracking

A colleage of mine asked me how I felt about issue tracking at my current company. I have had some past experience with issue tracking. I have worked with a custom issue tracking web interface that had a nice roll-up of some issue statistics by project and user-type. There was no email notification built in, but you could view issues across projects easily.

I have had some experience working with Mercury Test Director. SWAT worked with my project team on my last project, and they recommended Mercury. On that project, we even had automated tests (although I am still not sure what percentage of our test cases ended up as automated tests). I thought Mercury was okay, but for that project we did not use the web version of issue tracking, and I thought it was a real bugger noting my issues in notepad until I got into the office the next day.

My current project is using the issue list in SharePoint as our issue tracking. While this solution is a good enough solution, it would be nice if my fellow team members could see all of thier issues at once from multiple projects. Sure, we could have set up one wss team site to handle all issues, but I don't think SharePoint security would effectively manage who can add issues to which project and who can see which issues, and so on.

So for a smaller consulting company, what is the best solution to issue tracking? I am not sure the complexity of Mercury would be a good fit (or the price tag). SharePoint really isn't meant for full-fledged issue tracking for a corporation. A custom solution would be fun to build, but I am not sure the amount of time we would have to invest would be worth it.

I did a little research, and although I am often annoyed at the lack of pricing information on product sites, here are some that look interesting:

So have you used any of these tools? Anybody have any reviews to contribute or any other tools to add?

BTW - Thanks to David Hayden for his blog posting about Gemini. I ran into a bunch of open source issue tracking tools (like Bugzilla), but had trouble finding a free .Net issue tracking tool.